The Academy of Culinary Arts is appealing to the ‘cream of UK hospitality industry talent’ to enter the Master of Culinary Arts (MCA).
Held every four years, the MCA is only awarded to head chefs, pastry chefs and restaurant managers who can complete a series of tough tasks set by the Academy.
Since the award was launched in 1987, just 23 people have achieved the masters, which recognises excellence in the field of hospitality.
John Williams, executive chairman of the Academy and executive chef at The Ritz, said: “More than one person can achieve the award each time, however, the fact that only a small number have succeeded in doing so shows that it is the ultimate test for chefs, pastry chefs and front of house. I feel that the MCA is more a case of competing against oneself than against others.
The tasks are tougher than any other award; they are classic in foundation whilst being highly relevant to modern styles of cooking and service. In each of the three disciplines the candidates are tested on a wide range of skills encompassing all that is required to be the very best in their field. Timing is also important, the tasks must be completed within a set timeframe which adds to the pressure.
Candidates must be 26 years old or over on 1st January 2009 and have worked in the UK for at least five years.
Successful applicants will be expected to take part in regional quarter and semi-finals, and the finals, which will be held at Le Gavroche (for restaurant management) and Thames Valley University (for chefs and pastry chefs).
The closing date for applications is March 20 2009. To apply call Susannah Bentall on 020 8673 6300.